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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Affair Proof Your Marriage

~Giveaway ends tues! Enter HERE~

To Zach and I, this part of the marriage seminar was the most interesting. We ALL know of at least one marriage that has ended due to an affair (or multiple affairs for that matter). It can happen easier than we think and it was great to hear tips on how to prevent that in our own marriage.

Heb 13:4 says "Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge."

These are the leading things that cause affairs to occur:
  • unmet needs
  • unfullfilled expectations
  • underdeveloped self esteem (emotional immaturity)
  • unresolved conflict (constant source of stress)
  • uncontrolled thoughts
  • unprotected lifestyle (be careful who you hang around!!!)
  • unrelied commitments
Unmet needs is an important thing to consider, and it's tough for us to meet each other needs because men and women need different things. Here are the top 5 needs for men:
  1. sexual
  2. recreation
  3. physical attractiveness
  4. domestic support
  5. respect
And here are the top 5 needs for women:
  1. affection
  2. conversation
  3. honesty/openness
  4. financial stability
  5. family commitment
Here is how most affairs develop: (James 1:14,15 says "But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and entice. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death")

Step 1: Accepting sinful thoughts into your mind.
Step 2: Emotional, non-physical involvement.
Step 3: Physical involvement
Step 4: Rationalizing the affair.

The person trying to entice you into the affair will usually use three tactics. They will say, "it'll be a secret that no one will find out." Then they will try to make you think it has to do with courage and say things like "come on try it!" Finally they will say to live for the moment and that everyone else is doing it and tell you how fun that lifestyle is.

If you find yourself wrapped up in an affair (our on the steps towards one) there is a way out! Here is the pathway back to purity:
  • Acknowledge the sin and admit you have a problem and are a sinner. Psalms 51:1-4 says "Have mercy upon me O God...Blot out my transgressions...And cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions. And my sin is always before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned."
  • End the relationship IMMEDIATELY.
  • Do whatever it takes to avoid all contact with that person from now on! 1 Cor. 10:13 says "No temptation has over taken you except such as is common to man, but God is faithful who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it."
The people who we are most likely to have affairs with are: best friend couples, coworkers, in-laws/family. It's so important to maintain proper relationships with the opposite sex. Don't complain to each other about your spouses, don't participate in lingering stares, etc.

Here are preventative steps that we can ALL use to keep our marriages affair proof:
  1. Make a commitment to God's standard of morality. 
  2. Maintain your marriage. Proverbs 5:15-18 "Drink water from your own cistern...Let them be only your own...Let your fountain be blessed, And rejoice with the wife of your youth." 1 Cor. 7:5 "Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time...and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control."
  3. Manage your mind. Make up your mind ahead of time that you are not going to sin or luck. Close your eyes or turn away from a person if you need to in order to keep your thoughts and heart pure. II Tim 2:22 "Flee also youthful lust; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart." Rom 13:14 "But on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lust."
  4. Monitor your media intake. So much of what is out there today in the world will cause us to lust and lead us to sin!
  5. Minimize opportunity to sin. Stay away from any situations that tempt you! 1 Cor. 15:33 "Do not be deceived: Evil company corrupts good habits."
  6. Maintain proper relationships with the opposite sex.
  7. Magnify the consequences. Prov 6:32 warns "Whoever commits adultery with a woman (or man for that matter!) lacks understanding, He who does so destroys his own soul."
Here are the four key predictors in divorce:
  1. Contempt. Thinking "I could have done better than you!"
  2. Criticism. Always looking for the other persons faults.
  3. Defensiveness. Never admitting your own fault.
  4. Withdrawal. This will typically happen first in the mind, then also physically.
Best ways to maintain your marriage are to passionately kiss for at least 30 seconds a day and go to bed every night at the same time. Pray together and cuddle!

The #1 best tip to affair proof your marriage is very simple: ACT LIKE YOU ARE MARRIED!!!

Zach and I both really took a lot away from that lesson and realized that sometimes we both put ourselves in spots that are probably inappropriate. I flirt hardcore with waiters and such to get free food and while I enjoy the free food, free sodas, and other perks I also enjoy that attention and that's not really appropriate is it? It's fun to feel desired by the opposite sex (Zach enjoys that too!) but we have to make sure that we are always acting married and never leading anyone to think that they have a chance with us in any way.

I'm SO thankful for the trust I have in my husband. Women literally THROW themselves at him all the time and he does such a great job of reminding them that he's happily married and of letting me know what happens so there aren't any secrets. I'm thankful we took this seminar and learned how to even better protect and honor our marriage and each other. I never want to be another family added to the HUGE divorce statistic and I know attending events like these and reading marriage books together will help us draw closer to God and keep our marriage vows!

Hopefully some of you married couples out there took something from these two posts and I hope whoever wins the giveaway really enjoys the book!!!

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